January Collaborative Report


by Kaye Van Nevel and Karen Del Bene

From Left to right: Stephen Valdivia, Guest Speaker and Victim Specialist, FBI; Kaye Van Nevel, Soroptimist International (SI) of Vista/NCI; Yusef Miller, Mosques Against Trafficking; Marilyn Rudoff, Woman’s Club of Vista; Pam Warnock, SI North San Diego; Judy Horning, SI Poway, Lauren Chin, SI Poway; Le’Jeane’ Ellis, Victim Specialist FBI, Brady Finta, Director Carlsbad Office, FBI.


Twenty members attended our first meeting of 2019.   We were honored to welcome new visitors, Victim Specialists for the FBI, Brady Finta, Le’Jeane’ Ellis, and our guest speaker, Stephen Valdivia.  Also, Yusef Miller, Mosques Against Trafficking joined us. He will be honored as a Mission Hero at the STAT event listed below.* All of the attendees, whether interested individuals or representatives of specific organizations, strive to work toward the freedom of the enslaved victims of human trafficking.


  • Soroptimist Int’l Vista and North County Inland will sponsor their 13th Annual Human Trafficking Awareness Event, January 12, Wave Water Park, Vista, 12:30-3:00.  Presenters include San Diego DA Summer Stephan; Saved In America, Joseph Travers; and Jaimee Johnson, Sisters of the Streets.
  • Soroptimists Together Against Trafficking (STAT) Salutes our Mission Heroes, Friday, March 1, 6-8 p.m., Good Samaritan Episcopal Church, Roetter Hall, 4321 Eastgate Mall, UTC, San Diego. Register at bit.ly/heroes 2019.*

Guest Speaker Stephen Valdivia

FBI Victim Specialist, Stephen Valdivia, works directly with victims identified on cases being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in San Diego County, including North County. Mr. Valdivia also provides victim assistance for FBI cases being investigated in Imperial County and in the FBI’s Honolulu Division which includes Hawaii, Guam, Saipan (CNMI) and American Samoa.  Additionally, Victim Specialist Valdivia is a member of the FBI’s Victim Services Response Team where he, and other specially trained FBI personnel, are prepared to board a plane on a moment’s notice in order to respond to incidences of mass casualties such as the 2016 Orlando Pulse Night Club shooting and the recent 2018 Thousand Oaks shooting.

Victim Services Division (VSD)

  • Funded by Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) – which comes from fines, assessments, forfeited bail, etc.
  • Victims Specialist – 170 in US
  • Terrorism & Special Jurisdiction Unit – Worldwide
  • Victim Services Team
  • Child Victim Services Unit

FBI Mandates Specialists to do the following:

  • Identify victims
  • Inform victims of right to receive services
  • Keep the updated as to status of investigation
  • Notify victims of arrest of the offender
  • On scene crisis intervention
  • Explain the process to victims
  • Assist local agents and FBI agents during victim interviews
  • Transport victims
  • Locate emergency services (i.e. housing)
  • Provide verbal and writing information on impact of the crime
  • Provide referrals for victim services (i.e. counseling)
  • Help crime victims secure compensation this can include the entire family
  • Arrange cleaning and return of property (evidence)

Victims voice is so important.  

Child advocacy center specially trained agents aid in interviewing children in a way that will hold up in court.

Victim Services Agents provide:

  • Assist victims and families (NOT WITNESSES)
  • Provide crisis intervention
  • Assistant employees who are victims of a federal crime
  • Assistant in providing death notifications for victims (throughout the country)
  • Provide limited language assistant
  • Safety Planning
  • Privacy
  • Basic needs (i.e. food and shelter, etc.)
  • Arrest and searches, especially if children at scene
  • Offer support for office involved shootings
  • Crisis negotiations
  • Mass Casualty Events (i.e. terrorism, shootings like Las Vegas)
  • Closed population as victims
  • Victim identifying
  • Communication
  • Victim Response Management
  • Return personal effects to victims and/or families of deceased

Victim Services Response Team (VSRT) includes:

  • Multi-disciplinary response
  • Provide emotional and logistical support to victims and their family members
  • Serve as liaison between victims and all investigation teams
  • Canine response teams (2)
  • Emergency assistant during a mass casualty including:
  • Uncompensated emergency medical and mental health expenses
  • Forensic exam expenses
  • Makes sure zero out of pocket family expenses of deceased victims are covered which includes hotels, transportation, loss wages, food, etc.

Human Trafficking Victims usually need long-term assistance and resources.  Victim Service Agents become involved in country wide stings, and offer all the services listed above, as well as supporting local authorities.

NEXT MEETING : March 7, 2019, Speaker TBD


The North San Diego County Human Trafficking Collaborative is a diverse group of individuals and community organizations committed to eliminate human trafficking and modern day slavery.  Our mission is to raise awareness of human trafficking, provide a platform to share information, improve services, educate ourselves and the public, and advocate for policy and legislation related to human trafficking

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